I love you if you get my title.
Anyway, I can't believe I never wrote out this story. I've probably told it 10 times; it is regrettably one of the most interesting things to happen in my life. Murphy's Law-wise, of course.
I hate traffic. Hate it. I will do anything to avoid it. When I accepted a job in Auburn, I had to deal with I-5 every day and it would take me over an hour to go less than 20 miles. So, after doing a little research, I discovered a solution. My place of work was only a mile away from the Sounder train station, which commuted between Tacoma and Everett every day. I would buy a bike (got one for $50), rent a bike locker at Auburn Station (less than $20 a year I think), and take the train and keep the bike in Auburn. It was pure genius.
You know, except for the 10 months of bad Washington weather.
Let's just ignore the fact that I probably only committed to this a total of maybe 8 trips. But, here was the downside. My place of work was on the very outskirts of town. The Sounder train was on the correct side for the actual town, and we were on the other side of the industrial tracks. Can you see where this is heading?
I was on my bike, riding towards the Sounder, when I saw a freight train blocking the only intersection. I pulled up alongside the cars that were waiting. Okay, I had some time, I could wait. But as time ticked on, and the train didn't move, I began to get antsy. The guy in the car next to me told me that I should find another way around - they'd been waiting for over 20 minutes.
I began to panic. He told me to ride down the trail to my right - eventually I would get past the train and I could cross. I watched as people on foot climbed through the train to get to the other side. I briefly thought of doing that, but pulling my bike though was too dangerous. I heeded his advice and began to ride. The train seemed to last forever. There was no end to the damn thing. As I rode one way, the train slowly began to move in the other direction.
I turned quickly and rode like the wind. Like a bat out of hell. I pedaled so quickly that my feet were skipping the spins. My heart was going to explode. I actually had a legitimate worry that my heart was going to stop as I couldn't breathe well enough. I was extremely overweight and this was the most exertion I'd probably had in years.
The train began to move ever faster. I could barely keep up. Finally, I reached the intersection - barely 30 seconds after the train went completely through it. I was out of time. The Sounder train would be coming any second, and the lock on my bike locker was too finicky to mess with it.
Out of breath, legs shaking, completely obliterated, I stood with my bike, and got on the train. I then had to stand the entire trip back as there was nowhere to sit.
I owned a regular car with no bike rack and no ability to fold down the back seats to make the trunk larger. The only thing I could do was shove the bike into the backseat with all the finesse of, well, this:
I managed to get it in by some miracle of Frith (if you get this reference I love you even more), however, the next day was to become even more interesting.
Hold on for Part 2!